Associated PressDemonstrators gather outside the Minnesota House chamber to greet lawmakers as they arrive to take up the gay marriage bill at the State Capitol

Associated PressDemonstrators gather outside the Minnesota House chamber to greet lawmakers as they arrive to take up the gay marriage bill at the State Capitol

U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Prop. 8 case in March

The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear arguments March 26 on the constitutionality of California’s 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

Sponsors of Proposition 8 and their committee, Protect Marriage, are appealing a ruling made last year in which the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the initiative.

The high court’s decision is expected by the end of June. In the meantime, a stay of the lower court decision will remain in place and Prop. 8 will continue to be in effect.

The court also will hear arguments on a related case concerning the federal Defense of Marriage Act on March 27. DOMA bars the U.S. government from providing federal benefits and tax advantages to same-sex couples who are legally married.  

Two same-sex couples who challenged Prop. 8 in a civil-rights lawsuit filed in federal court in San Francisco in 2009 say the ban violates their constitutional right to equal treatment.

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